We Hear You, Big Sim!

It’s a sad day when the Colts field only 44 instead of the recommended 45 for a game, especially against an emerging power in the Chargers. What’s worse is that we played with an almost entirely backup team, except for special teams blocking. Can it get worse? Of course it can! Try losing Bob Sanders (ribs), Ryan Diem (unspecified), Charlie Johnson (unspecified), Keyunta Dawson (unspecified) and…gasp!…Dwight Freeney.

Say it ain’t so!!!

Freeney’s out because a Chargers linemen rolled over his left ankle during the 4th quarter last Sunday. He’s set to miss upwards of 4 games or so.

What will the Polian-Dungy connection do to remedy our backup woes? How about sign Pro Bowler Simeon Rice for a conditional agreement to take over our beloved Pro Bowler Defensive End while he heals?

Just prior to preseason, Rice was dismissed from his Tampa Bay contract due to a nagging shoulder injury, but Rice maintains it’s because he adamantly refused to take a pay cut. Denver picks him up, healthy and almost back to form, and then barely plays him in six games this season. We’re talking Simeon “Freight Train” Rice, a man who hits harder than most DEs and might give Freeney a run for his money regarding speed. This Bobby Bowden-trained elephant gun is No. 13 on the NFL’s all-time sack leader list with over 121 sacks in 172 career games!

Did I mention that Rice left Tampa with a Super Bowl ring? Yeah, he knows how to win big.

I say we got a steal while Freeney gets back to 100 percent. I wonder, when Freeney’s back, will Dungy try to keep his old defensive student and try him out at the left side for Robert Mathis or even try to place him at linebacker? Both unfamiliar positions, but Rice has the size, strength, intelligence and speed to give it an honest shot. I’m just spitballing here, though…

Also, Rice requested his release from the Broncos (this past Friday of all times!) as he was extremely unhappy with his playing time and that they were severely misusing him at an unfamiliar left defensive end position (so maybe Mathis’ position is safe). He replaces Freeney at the right side, which works out well.

NOTES:

– To acquire Rice, the Colts had to let go successful special teams Return Man T.J. Rushing and fullback Luke Lawton. No word yet on who will replace Rushing.
– Rice played under Tony Dungy when Dungy coached the Bucs in 2001.
– In 172 career games, Rice has 590 tackles, 37 forced fumbles, eight fumble recoveries, five INTs and 60 pass deflections.
Rice only missed 1 game in his first 10 years in the NFL.
– Rice has played in six games for the Broncos this season.
– He is 2nd in the league in current sack leaders only to Michael Strahan of the NY Giants.
– Rice is well-accustomed to sacking league leaders, including Brett Favre, John Elway, Tom Brady and our own Peyton Manning.

Links:

Two key plays on Sunday night’s game, and the Colts are demanding the NFL to fess up. (IndyStar)
Original article for above information on Freeney and Rice. (IndyStar)
Here’s ESPN‘s look at the deal between Rice and the Colts.
Only their fourth two-game losing streak in 81 games, and now they face a new QB snapping for the Chiefs this Sunday. (IndyStar)
Bob Kravitz is dead-on about the Special Teams and dead-wrong about the Coaching. What do you think about his midseason Colts report card? (IndyStar)

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